While at Book Expo America, I did my best to avoid getting TOO loaded down by advanced copies of upcoming books—after a while, they start to get HEAVY—but here are a few of the upcoming fall YA titles that I just couldn’t resist lugging home:

Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy

YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK. I read the whole thing in one go—I’ve been so looking forward to it that I couldn’t even wait until I got home, so I read it on the train—and I laughed out loud and cried and I loved it so, so much. If you’re a fan of realistic contemporaries, Dolly Parton, and strong-voiced heroines, you CANNOT miss the trials and tribulations of Willowdean Dickson. Smart, funny, empowering, and thoughtful—I’m not big on telling you to pre-order stuff, but PRE-ORDER IT. Like, right now.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, by Rae Carson

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Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy finished upDumplin in 2013, and this is the beginning of her new, much-awaited—and not just by me!—series. It’s a Western, set during the American Gold Rush, and stars a girl who can has the ability to sense gold…a power that you’d think would make life significantly easier for her, but, instead, puts her on the radar of a man who sees her as a tool to be used, not as a person. BONUS POINTS to Carson for autographing with a gold pen!

The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz

A historical comedy! In diary format! By the author of A Drowned Maiden’s Hair! It’s loosely inspired by Schlitz’s grandmother’s journal, and stars 14-year-old Joan Skraggs, a girl who dreams of leaving the farm she’s grown up on in order to move on and up into the world: as a hired girl, cooking and cleaning for a rich family in the big city. I can’t wait to read this one, it sounds so right up my alley that I ALMOST CAN’T STAND IT.

The Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow

I admit it, I was so devastated by Plain Kate—so, so good, but the impetus for much ugly crying—that I’ve been afraid of picking up anything by Erin Bow since. But The Scorpion Rules looks entirely different! It’s set in a dystopian future in which war is avoided through hostage-taking—when a new leader takes power, she is required to give up one of her children as a hostage. If she starts a war, the hostage will be put to death. The storyline itself sounds pretty standard dystopian—a new student arrives at Hostage School and opens the protagonist’s eyes to how messed up and unfair their situation is—but it’s ERIN BOW, so I’m confident that it’ll A) take lots of turns that I don’t expect and B) be fabulously written.

The Devil and Winnie Flynn, by Micol Ostow & David OstowScorpion Rules

Illustrated epistolary novel! After her mother’s suicide, Winnie Flynn heads to New Jersey to spend the summer with her mother’s sister, Maggie, a producer for reality television. The show Maggie’s currently working on—Fantastic, Fearsome—has a paranormal theme, which is a good fit for Winnie, who’s a secret fan of horror movies. But then she discovers that she’s got a paranormal ability of her own—a talent for detecting lies—and she realizes that her mother’s death might not have been exactly what it appear to be….

Were you at BEA? What treasures did you find?

In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.